Reader Reviewed Seen and Not Heard by Katie May Green

Seen and Not Heard

Written by Katie May Green
Illustrated by Katie May Green

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

There’s lots for children to think about in this unusual, original picture book, and it might change the way they regard visits to stately homes for ever. All is quiet as we enter Shiverhawk Hall, and the children in the portraits on the walls – as all good children should be – are there to be seen and not heard. But when night falls, the children creep out of their pictures, and run riot! From that silent beginning, the noise rises to a crescendo as the children run through the corridors, raid the kitchen, play games on the stairs. Only as dawn approaches do they climb back into the frames and resume their poses. This has a look and character all of its own; the illustrations, full of atmosphere, make the story both creepy and full of anarchic fun. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and share books from an early age and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of the younger members of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Ruby, age 5 and Nicola - 'We really enjoyed this book.  We loved the pictures – very atmospheric and we also enjoyed the rhyming text.'  Read full review >
  • Libby and Florence Bridgeman, age 7 and 4 - 'Seen and Not Heard is a lovely picture book that held the attention of both girls very well at bedtime. They found it funny and delightful!'  Read full review >
  • Robert Anderson, age 4 - 'A great laugh...Beautifully illustrated, a great picture book with a gentle sense of humour.'  Read full review >
  • Leoni, age 9 - 'This story was fun...I read this to my little sister who's only two and she liked it as well. We played finding the twin sisters on every page.' Read full review >


Seen and Not Heard by Katie May Green

In a big old house, up creaky stairs, in a silent little nursery full of dolls and teddy bears, you'll find the children of Shiverhawk Hall. They're children in pictures on the wall - seen and not heard...Original, atmospheric and delightfully spooky, this is the story of dainty little Lily Pinksweet, the Plumseys, clever Billy Fitzbillian, kind Percy and the De Villechild twins (who are perfect angels)...They all look so sweet and good, just like children should, but when night-time comes and there's no one to see, the children climb out from the quiet of their picture frames and they run riot and they run free! Perfect for children with wild imaginations and anarchic spirits, this magical book is filled with unforgettable images and free-spirited joy.

Inspiration struck the author in a museum where she came across a portrait of four children, and began wondering what these stiffly-clad, sombre-looking little people were really like. Katie says, “My thoughts then became a little more abstract: what would it feel like to be trapped in a painting for four hundred years? Would there be any kind of release? Perhaps, with a little moonlight, a little magic . . .”


The illustrations... are charming, with touches of humour, and may lead children to speculate about the real lives of other people in pictures. -- The School Librarian The School Librarian Truly original picture book full of magic that is perfect for children with wild imaginations. The Bookseller Children's Buyer's Guide

About the Author

Katie May Green

Katie May Green is a graduate from the Cambridge School of Art MA in Children's Book Illustration. She has created artwork for UK and US publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin and Oxford University Press.

Seen and Not Heard is Katie's first picture book. She says, of the inspiration behind it, I remember standing in front of an Elizabethan portrait of three children, wondering what these stiffly-clad, sombre-looking little people were really like. Were they, in their time, so very different from children today? My thoughts then became a little more abstract: what would it feel like to be trapped in a painting for four hundred years? Would there be any kind of release? Perhaps, with a little moonlight, a little magic...

Katie May lives in Somerset.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Katie May Green
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st October 2015




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